Whoopi says her beloved mother, Emma Johnson, used to give her the same advice. "Emma would say: 'You need to call [Oprah]. Find out what's going on,'" she says.
While filming The Color Purple, Oprah says she was struck by the close bond Whoopi had with her mother.
"Over the years, three people I know have had relationships like that—my best friend Gayle, Maria Shriver and her mother, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, and you and your mother," Oprah says. "I remember watching you all every day thinking, 'What is that?' It's like you and your mother were in love with each other."
Sadly, in August 2010, Emma passed away after suffering a stroke.